Hey, my pocket's just been picked...

The airlines call it "ancillary revenue".  You  might call it something different.  It's the $23 billion (BILLION) dollars the airlines made last year on all those hidden extra charges when you fly; preferred seats, checked bags, pillows, blankets, air that you breathe on the plane....what's next?  Not that I'm a big stick-to-the-budget gal (much to my husband's chagrin) but I don't like to be surprised when something already expensive ends up costing even more than I thought.  

I found a couple of good tools today on Tripadvisor.com.  One is their newly enhanced "fees estimator" feature which adds up every little fee the airline is charging you and gives you the bottom line before you go.  The other is Seat Guru.com which provides not only a detailed seat map of each individual aircraft on every airline, but will tell you which seats have reduced leg room, limited recline, even misaligned windows.  Like the hotel reviews, these are written by actual passengers so not every flight is going to have complete information unless someone provides it.

Just another way to know before you go, because travel surprises should be fun not frustrating.


Jason Barthelemy said...

Ouch! I hate how airlines can charge what they want. Thanks for the recommended sites.

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I didn’t dip my toe in an ocean until I turned 25 and my friend Sandy and I traveled to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. After that week, I was hooked. I loved being somewhere new; smelling the smells, tasting new food, seeing how other people lived. It energized me. As luck would have it, I landed a job that allowed me to travel all over the US and often to Canada. Being a sports event television producer, I was on the road all the time. That's when my love affair with travel began. Now, its 20 years later and still no one gets more “geeked up” about planning a vacation than I do. All I need is a destination and some travel companions and my fire is lit! I start delving into my favorite hotel sites, sifting through photos and reviews, comparing, contrasting -it’s like an addiction. The travel shows with tips and trends? I study them like a playbook. I LOVE doing the things most people hate doing before they go on vacation. Whether it be searching for a food tasting tour with a local or discovering a romantic B&B in the middle of New York - I’ve found it and I’ll share it with you. So....where should we go?